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«!                     T T is now many years since the initiative of the City and

I,                 A     Guilds of London Institute, in providing an examlna™

f|'                 tion for Mechanical Engineers, first suggested to me the

desirability of writing the present text-book. In preparing
students for this examination, I was being constantly asked
for a comprehensive work which would at least show them
the general lines on which their study, as engineer
apprentices, should proceed ; and, in seeking to meet their
request, I had to consider seriously (i) whether the whole
theory and practice of Mechanical Engineering, or even a
pnfcis of It, could be compressed into one volume, and (2)
whether It was desirable so to compress it. That this work
has here been written is sufficient evidence of my-t>wn
solution of the above questions—a solution which has been
fully confirmed by the successful use, in teaching engineer
students, of my chapters during the years of their prepara-
tion. I am perfectly aware that there are many who will
object to any attempt to convey the rationale of practical
processes by description on paper; others may accuse me
of * cramming/ by attempting to condense the theories of
engineering into half a volume* 1 would earnestly ask all
these gentlemen, before condemning what may seem to
them a too ambitious undertaking, to first consider care-
fully the following reasons which appeared to rne to
support my decision :-—fi) The saving- of time to the
student, who need not now be always ' beginning at the